HB1606 in St. Charles County will disproportionately impact people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

House Bill 1606 (Representative McGaugh) has passed in the Senate and has now been assigned to a conference committee.

“HB1606 reduces funding for every entity that receives property tax. This includes libraries, schools, police departments, ambulance, and fire, without any replacement for revenue.  Everyone will take a hit – not just those affected by disability,” said St. Charles resident and disability advocate Carrie Grimes. “I have an 18-year-old with autism. We have received very, very, important services from the county through Community Living, which is a fantastic organization that is already stressed for funds. This cut will impact services that people absolutely rely on to live a healthy and productive life.”

What advocates should know about HB1606 as it pertains to services for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities include:

  • Senator Eigel added an amendment that would effectively eliminate the Personal Property Tax in St. Charles County
  • The elimination of personal property tax in St. Charles County would result in a 16 percent reduction of funding (more than $2 million).
  • In St. Charles County, more than 3,000 individuals with disabilities access critically needed services and supports including early intervention, residential, employment/employment training, respite for caregivers, socialization/recreation, technology/technology training and adaptive equipment.
  • This potential reduction would impact more than 500 individuals with developmental disabilities and their families/caregivers through a reduction in services.
  • Citizens of St. Charles County TWICE approved a county wide Property Tax to support its citizens with developmental disabilities: First in 1977 by a 52 percent majority, and an increase in 1986 with a 67 percent majority.

For advocates that don’t live in St. Charles County, here’s what you need to know:

  • If this happens in St. Charles County, it could set a precedent for this to happen in other counties throughout Missouri.
  • Services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are already facing many funding challenges. Agencies are struggling to hire the staff needed to provide essential services because funding rates have not kept pace with the rising costs of providing these resources. This reduction would disproportionately impact people with disabilities and create yet another barrier to receiving the services and supports to lead independent and integrated lives.

If this bill matters to you, here is what you can do to make your voice heard:

Call the Senators that have already been appointed to the conference committee. Even if you don’t live in St. Charles County, express the impact that these types of services have on your lives. Here are the Senators on the Conference Committee:

Call the Representatives appointed to the committee.

Call YOUR Representative or Senator and voice your opinion on this bill.

You can look up your legislator and educate them on how this bill will impact self-advocates and their families.

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The Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council (MODDC) is a federally-funded, 23-member, consumer-driven council appointed by the Governor. Its mandate under P.L. 106-402, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, is to assure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to needed community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination, independence, productivity and integration in all aspects of community life. To learn more or to get involved, visit www.moddcouncil.org.